Monday, January 25, 2016

Looking for God in a Snowstorm - a #BlizzardChurch Conference Call Meditation

I don’t do well with snow storms. I’m not good with things that have the potential to disrupt my best-laid plans, let alone force me to stay home when I have things to do. I’m proficient with the “what ifs.”

What if we lose our power?
What if our roof caves in?
What if there’s so much snow I cannot make a scheduled train?
What if we get stuck inside for days. God, can I now just go on with my plans?

I started cursing the snow before it even started on Friday night.

But it started.

And just as I awakened yesterday morning, ready to shout some more, a colleague posted about how he was drinking hot chocolate, listening to his favorite music, and settling in for what could be a day filled with spiritual experiences.


How could a day with a forecasted blizzard be a spiritual experience?

But I found the image of a person drinking hot cocoa and smiling as he looked out the window watching for God to show up to be irresistible – especially when a spiritual experience was not on the list of things I anticipated receiving on Saturday – a shortage of patience, too much time to do nothing, a little anxiety, yes, – but a spiritual experience – no way.

And I cannot help but wonder how often we forget that God does some of God’s best work when we are outside of our comfort zones, our regular routines, and our need for control. Maybe we need things to sometimes be clearly out of our control in order for us to see how God is fully in control.

We are told that gale-force winds arose while the disciples were crossing over the Sea of Galilee.  Waves are crashing against them. They are frightened as they conclude they are about to drown. But Jesus is sleeping until he is awakened – not by the storm – but by our fears – and he silences the storm, he makes the thing causing fear and anxiety to go away. And then he asks us about our faith – where is your faith?

God does some of God’s best work in the storms.

Jesus sleeps through the storm not because of a lack of care for the disciples. He sleeps through the storm because he knows that the storm is only temporary. It will soon go away.

What if we were to approach every blizzard as a spiritual experience?
What if we were to face every adversity as an opportunity for God to work?
What if we were to remember that the best of all is that God is with us – especially through the storm – which means that the storm will never have the final word?
And what if one of the greatest gifts we can be given is a disrupted schedule that reminds us fully that we are not in control?

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